Vince in New York!
(Left to right: Peg Pearl, Mike Sciotto, Vince, and Rick Mullen.)
Oh say did you see...
...by the evening's stage lights...
Vince Martell opened up this super show at on April 26, 2000 at Le Bar Bat on West 57th Street in New York with a really cool version of The Star Spangled Banner. Ala' Hendrix? No. Yes, it was solo electric guitar, and it was powerful. However, it was not the screaming pyshchedelic sound of the Woodstock generation. This Martell version was also far more technically intricate and orchestrated than what we know from Jimi Hendrix. As Vince played on, it was clear to all that this was definitely not the same, meaning not only the playing, but the feeling. It was a respectful rendition as well. Sure enough, after he was finished and the applause died down, he dedicated it to our US veterans, and asked for a round of applause for the men and women who have kept our country free. Vince himself served in the US Navy.
...what so proudly he hailed....
Vince proudly hailed singer Peg Pearl, bassist Rick Mullen and drummer Mike Scioto, both of Commander Codi and The Lost Planet Airmen. Vince went on to perform many of the tracks from his new CD (Endless High), including Cause I Love You, Ladder of Life, Thoughts and Baby I'm Blue. Another song from Vince's CD was The Old Man in the Sky, which was a tune penned by Jerry Storch of The Vagrants. The Vagrants hailed from the famed "Long Island Scene" of the late 60's. Leslie West, famed guitarist of Mountain was an original member of The Vagrants.
Vince credited The Vagrants as being a major influence on Vanilla Fudge. There were many special guests on hand, one of which was Peter Sabatino, The Vagrants' vocalist. I had the pleasure of chatting with him a few minutes. It was a true pleasure and honor to meet a main influence on my biggest influence! Sitting with Peter, was Joe Forgione, drummer for the Soul Survivors (Expressway to Your Heart). He was also a warm hearted man who was a pleasure to talk to. Vince recognized both of them more than once.
... the broad stage and bright stars...
During the show, Vince brought forward singer Peg Pearl, who is from Denver Colorado. Peg rocked the house with two Grace Slick tunes, White Rabbit and Somebody to Love. She also sang a soulful rendition of the old classic, Summertime. Peg is also a keyboardist in her own right and played piano/synth on a number of Vince's songs, and the Rock classic Nights in White Satin.
...o'er the ramparts they watched...
Le Bar Bat is a cool club with stage visible from the first and second floors. Thus, it can hold a lot of people yet allow a reasonably intimate setting. Vince talked frequently to the audience. Up on the second floor was Vince Martell/Vanilla Fudge fan and frequent site visitor Nick Hartley and his brother Andy. Nick is among the new generation of fans that have become hooked on Vince's music. Of course, his hands were full of CDs and vinyls to be signed :-) which of course they were between the first and second shows.
... gave proof through the night...
Although he doesn't have to, Vince always proves to us who he is - the lead guitarist of Vanilla Fudge. We were treated to updated versions of Shotgun, Ticket to Ride, People Get Ready... an amazing version of Season of the Witch featuring a cool guitar solo, and of course, You Keep Me Hangin' On.
Vince's new Endless High CD and his performance also proves what a powerful songwriter and entertainer he is. Vince Martell is here to stay.
...that the star is still there...
Vince's performances are always stellar. Seeing a Vince Martell show is a must. And if his fantastic guitar playing isn't enough, his voice will blow your mind. When Vince sang Stevie Wonder's All in Love is Fair, also on Endless High, it knocked out not only the audience at Le Bar Bat, but the recording engineers at the studio when he recorded it. I know. I was there.
...o'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave.
At the end of the show, Vince once again thanked our veterans, and he thanked the long list of celebrities in the audience that came out to see him. Again, Peter Sabatino of the Vagrants and Joe Forgione of the Soul Survivors. Also on hand were Freddy Scott (Hey Girl Columbia Records), Judy Craig of the Chiffons (He's So Fine), Bleu Ocean, drummer of the Sundowners, (Monkees backup band) and drummer Roy Weinberger (Eddie Brigati and Gene Cornish) who also played with Vince up at Woodstock a few years ago. Gordon Gebbert and Bob McAdams - Kiss and Tell book, Rick Feruzi, drummer for DOA, Neville Chesters who worked in production with Jimi Hendrix were there. Finally world renowned guitarist John Paris, and 1960's legend David Peel, of The Lower East Side (Have a Marijuana) were on hand to greet Vince.
The Vince Martell Show at Le Bar Bat was truly a Star Spangled night I won't forget for a long time, and neither will anyone else who was there. Vince was just great! And, definintely watch for more from Peg Pearl!
Copyright © 2000 by Pete Bremy.